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Zero Waste? - Being more environmentally friendy

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

Zero Waste Week 2019

Zero Waste Week 2019

This September, people across the UK are being asked to reduce the amount of items they throw away. Zero Waste Week runs from 2nd - 6th September and will ask people to pause and think before throwing anything in the bin, to help save money, protect the environment and address climate change.

We recently wrote about our approach to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Coffee Bags and we're pleased to say that we are encouraged by the initial responses we have received from trade and retail customers alike. A steady trickle of coffee bags are arriving daily at Bean Smitten HQ and where possible are being used or, if too worn, are being sent to UK specialist recycling firm, Terracycle.

Celebrating its twelfth year, Zero Waste Week is asking people to rise to the challenge of Transforming Global Warming!

So, what additional steps are Bean Smitten taking towards zero waste?

With imagination, planning and a bit of lateral thinking, it's not so difficult for a company like Bean Smitten to reduce its environmental footprint. Here's what we've been doing:

  • Coffee chaff, the sawdust-like waste product from roasting is used as bedding for egg laying hens here at Cedar Gables Campsite.

  • Emma, also takes the coffee chaff and digs it into the soil on her allotment. It's rich in nitrogen and works as a natural fertiliser.

  • Coffee grounds are added to the campsite's compost heap.

  • The jute sacks that the green coffee arrives in are reused in a variety of craft projects.

  • Wooden pallets that the coffee sacks get shipped on are collected and reused by a local firm that makes garden furniture.

4 ways we reduce waste at Bean Smitten

Further steps to fight climate change

  • We switched delivery of our wholesale bags to a carbon neutral courier service (DPD Local). Carbon neutral works by measuring and reducing CO2 emissions as far as possible. Contributions are then made to renewable energy projects to offset the remainder.

  • We have stopped sticking plastic tin ties onto our 250 gram coffee bags. We figured most people had some form of clip or peg at home that they could use.

  • We also started applying a basic ink stamp to our wholesale bags instead of labels front and back. They do not need to be fully branded because most of the time, they're not seen by customers. Our label printing volumes have reduced by about 50%.

  • The fluorescent strip lights in the roastery were replaced with led units, so we now draw less power from The Grid.

Post your bags back to us for recycling

Here's 3 (less obvious) things you can try, to do your bit too

There are a lot of ideas out there, but these three appealed to us because of their slightly quirky nature:

  • Seek out and use ultra-concentrated products (e.g. detergents) to reduce packaging.

  • Use a gifting economy like Freecycle, Freegle or Olio to pass on your old stuff to someone who can use it.

  • Don't throw away needlessly - learn some basic repair skills such as sewing or soldering.

Why not share with us, the clever ways that you are working towards zero waste. Tag us in your photos on Instagram @beansmitten #zerowaste

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